Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez explained a tax plan so many people are lying about.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was a guest on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to discuss so much about her first month in Congress. While the Congresswoman from New York talked policy and the need for unity, everyone is focusing on one question. At the beginning of the above video, Stephen Colbert asked how much she cared about Democrats telling her and other freshmen Congresspeople to wait their turn when it comes to fighting for certain issued. She replied, “zero.”
Ocasio-Cortez took to social media to call out what she sees as misleading headlines from several media sites.
I actually didn’t say this, so while I know “brown women cursing” drives clicks, maybe you accurately quote the whole exchange instead of manipulating people into thinking I said this sentence instead of just the word “zero.” https://t.co/MrXIbALNP3
Colbert: “On a scale of zero to some, how many f-ks do you give?”
Ocasio-Cortez: “I think it’s, um, zero.”
Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that the coverage of her interview on the show is indicative of the double standard for women and men in politics.
This reinforces lazy tropes about women leaders in media: – Older + seasoned, but unlikeable – Passionate, but angry – Smart, but crazy – Well-intentioned, but naive – Attractive, but uninformed or gaffe-prone
It’s unoriginal, lazy, and men don’t get the same either/or coverage.
The further you go into the interview, Ocasio-Cortez and Colbert discussed two questions that have been on the minds of millions of Americans. First, the need for public unity among the Democratic Party. Second, her proposed 70 percent marginal tax on the wealthiest of American society to debunk myths surrounding her proposal.
Ocasio-Cortez is not concerned with being seen as divisive as an activist and advocate for her constituents.
“It’s how we chose to interpret events and things like activism and advocacy. If you think activism is inherently divisive, I mean, today is Martin Luther King Day, and people called Martin Luther King divisive in his time,” Ocasio-Cortez told Colbert. “We forget that he was widely unpopular when he was advocating for the Civil Rights Act. I think that what we really need to realize is that social movements are the moral compass and should be the moral compass of our politics.”
Colbert then asked her to explain the 70 percent marginal tax that has been confusing and angering people.
The odds of me making over $10 million in one year while serving in public office are probably as slim as the odds of the GOP ever understanding what a marginal tax rate is.
But if it ever got to that, I’d be happy to contribute more for our bridges, teachers, and firefighters. https://t.co/DnBA9nbU4r
“I think this is something that we often see too with Fox News. It’s like, ‘They want to take all your money.’ When we talk about a 70 percent marginal tax rate, it’s not on all of your income,” Ocasio-Cortez explains. “It’s on your 10 millionth and one dollar. So, after you make $10 million in one year, your dollars after that start to get progressively taxed at a much higher rate.”
According to PolitiFact, during the Eisenhower presidency, between 1953 and 1961, the top marginal tax rate was 91 percent. It is also important to note that the marginal tax rate of the past was aimed at people making far less money than those who will be impacted by Ocasio-Cortez. Basically, if you aren’t making $10 million a year, you won’t see a 70 percent tax on your income under Ocasio-Cortez’s proposed tax plan.
PolitiFact further explains that the proposed tax plan would add $72 billion a year in tax revenue to the U.S. government.
She further broke down the need to increase the tax on the wealthy to benefit the U.S.
Ocascio-Cortez explains that the tax proposal, which won’t impact all the income made by the wealthy, has nothing to do with attacking the rich but making a statement about the kind of society we, as Americans, want to live in. She tells Colbert that we have to answer whether or not we want to live in a society when billionaires live in excess while others work 80-hour weeks without enough money to feed their children.
This tax proposal, as Ocasio-Cortez explains, is nothing new to American society and politics.
“This is not a new idea,” Ocasio-Cortez explains to Colbert. “In fact, people are yelling, ‘She’s a socialist. She wants 70 percent marginal tax rates.’ Under a Republican administration, Dwight Eisenhower, we had 90 percent marginal tax rates.”
In a state that swells with Latino and American pride, it seems that Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has been able to maintain some sort of trust with voters across the spectrum. His policies and actions continue to ring true to a set of ideas that many Texans, including Latinos, find admirable and necessary in the current political climate.
With that in mind, there must be something to explore on behalf of voters in Texas who find merit in Cruz’s leadership. Perhaps there is a silver lining that all communities can identify with because, without a doubt, Cruz is and will continue to be a major political influence in the coming years, potentially having an impact on what occurs in the presidential elections of 2020.
To give you an idea of how far his reach extends, here are 20 reasons why Texans either love or hate Ted Cruz.
He’s had a great education and career.
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Raised in Houston, Sen. Cruz earned a top-notch education at both Princeton University and Harvard Law. After college, Cruz worked as an attorney before serving as a political advisor for George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential election. Enjoying moderate praise and success from Bush’s time in office, Cruz bounced around between a few different positions, which included being the director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission, Solicitor General of Texas, and then becoming a senator for Texas in 2013.
He’s a die-hard Republican from a deep red state.
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During his time in office, Cruz has executed some unorthodox tactics in regards to rallying against the liberal agenda. Perhaps one of his most famous moments came when he performed a 21-hour filibuster in 2013 against President Obama’s new healthcare plan. He urged his colleagues to cut funding for the bill, as well as reciting passages from his favorite novel to kill more time.
He’s a conservative celebrity.
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Overall, his escapades have catapulted him into the ultra-conservative spotlight, and in 2015, he officially announced his run for president in the 2016 election. He preached on about Christian values, how Trump was wrong for the Republican base, and that he would put the nation back on track. However, he would ultimately fall short of the Republican nomination, finally endorsing President Trump before his first national debate against Democratic candidate, Hilary Clinton.
He has Texan values.
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Based on what he preached during his presidential campaign, Cruz is a firm believer in “faith, family, patriotism…and the American Dream.” Especially for the Latino community in Texas, he claims that their values are conservative in nature and not accurately represented by left-wing ideals.
He claims to follow the Bill of Rights.
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When it comes to the rights of the people, he strongly advocates for the pillars outlined in the Bill of Rights. He believes in educational freedom and diversity, he supports the foundation of a free market economy with job growth and new opportunities, and he encourages the rehabilitation of the country’s environmental conservation and preservation strategies. With these considerations, Cruz seems like a noble representative for the betterment of the people, but when reviewing his policies toward social issues, in particularly Latino issues, his character quickly starts to fade.
He’s not a fan of The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
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One area of focus that speaks directly to Latinos and Americans alike throughout the state are issues regarding healthcare. Cruz staunchly opposes Obamacare, vowing to repeal the program and replace it with market-based reforms that create a more competitive array of plans to choose from. As for following through since his attempted filibuster, Americans are still waiting for him to name another plan.
He constantly changes his view on immigration.
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In addition, he wants to remove Obama’s amnesty approvals and secure immigration at the border, while cracking down on illegal immigration. His 2016 campaign put his strongly against helping people immigrate to the U.S. or become citizens if they already lived in the U.S. Although Texas boasts a staggering population of roughly 28 million people, stances like these against healthcare and immigration significantly hurt many of those who are Latino or below the poverty line.
He forgets that many Texans are uninsured.
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In the face of Cruz’s actions, it’s estimated that 1 in 6 Texans remain uninsured, according to various government surveys. Once Obamacare took effect in 2014, the state’s uninsured rate plummeted from 22 percent to 16 percent within a two year period. Once Republicans began repealing and attempting to replace the program (one of Trump’s main campaign promises that Cruz backed), uninsured rates for 2017 started to increase again.
Many of the uninsured Texans are immigrants.
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As of now, Texas is still the most uninsured state in the country, and a great deal of the uninsured are immigrants who are in fear of jeopardizing their legal status and eligibility to gain citizenship. This fear directly relates to the opportunities that Cruz wants to eradicate.
Immigrants boost Texas’ economy, but Cruz wants them out.
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Matching the statistics of those uninsured, 1 out of 6 Texans is also an immigrant, and in total, immigrants make up 17 percent of the state’s total population. In terms of numbers, 17 percent equals roughly 4.5 million people (over half of which are of Mexican descent) who contribute to a competitive economy in several industries. Despite this truth, Cruz actively supports legislation that disrupts the success of those trying to achieve a better life.
He even wants to deport “Dreamers.”
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Cruz has been highly outspoken against stifling the pathway Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients to obtain citizenship.
The bottom line is that major aspects of Cruz’s political platform ostracize an important part of Texan values and identity. Nonetheless, he has still managed to gain sizable support in many demographics, while exhibiting counter-intuitive behavior that rallies against those in need.
His voting habits play a huge role in his popularity.
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As much as you would like to think that people vote according to a candidate’s beliefs and values, that’s only half the battle. According to a study done by Jon A. Krosnick of Ohio State University, most people vote for the political party that they identify with, regardless of who the nominee ends up being. Next, people will base their preferences off of their initial reaction to a candidate’s personality, intelligence, and trustworthiness. For Cruz’s sake, these principals work well in his favor.
Cruz has a Latino background by way of his immigrant father.
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Not only does Cruz have a firm track record of leading Texas since 2013, but his family history strikes a personal chord with many Latinos across the country. Cruz’s own father, an immigrant from Cuba, fled the communist country during the 1950s and moved to America with virtually nothing. He couldn’t speak English, had only $100 to his name, and washed dishes to help make ends meet. Eventually, he earned enough money to finance his college education and created a better life for his family.
Latinos can relate to Cruz’s history.
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The majority of Latinos can relate to his father’s humble beginnings, and with a name like Cruz, it pushes the envelope even more to a familiarity that’s easy to associate with. To help solidify this connection, after the election with O’Rourke was finished, Cruz requested that his polling team research how many votes each candidate received within areas where Latinos account for at least 40 percent of the population. The findings showed that Cruz lead in 39 of the 62 counties.
Cruz plays into Texan stereotypes.
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Aside from Cruz’s personal story, the other factor that keeps Texans wrangled into his herd is that Cruz plays into the Texas identity of trailblazing a rebellious path towards a new frontier. Much of the state honors the wild west originality of unrestricted gun laws and endless barbecues, and these stereotypes are qualities that Cruz himself admits. In an article written by the New York Times, Cruz says that “the ethos of [Texas] is, ‘Give me a horse and a gun and an open plain and we can conquer the world.'”
Publicly, Cruz tries to distance himself from Trump but votes the party line.
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Cruz has managed to walk a fine line between fully supporting Trump’s policies and maintaining his own integrity as a state senator. Although it’s important for him to gain the trust of conservatives who agree with Trump’s actions, Cruz makes it a point to meet with conservatives who are against the extreme right-wing agenda, creating flexibility for Cruz that adheres to all sides of the party. Interestingly enough, this ability to maneuver led to him finding more success in the 2018 senate race.
Beto O’Rourke gave Cruz a nailbiting run for his money.
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Despite O’Rourke being the most financed and most popular Democrats to run in Texas, Cruz was able to claim victory by a narrow margin. In the most expensive senate race in history, Cruz barely pulled ahead of O’Rourke, resulting in a 50.9 percent victory compared to O’Rourke’s 48.3 percent. Many people hoped that O’Rourke would win, but the truth is that he showed the nation how toxic Republican policies have become and it is changing the way Democrats run across the nation. A top Democratic strategist said that “Beto was a cause, not a candidate,” and this truth is what propelled Cruz’s likability for Texans who sought the leadership of someone with firm plans to help the state.
Cruz is willing to follow people to save his political career.
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For now, it looks as though Texas will remain a deep red state to some degree, but the momentum of the liberal mindset and the painstaking ordeals of the current administration could someday lead to a blue wave making considerable changes for an area in strong need of reform. However, Cis willing to change his views to protect his political career.
There is a lot of question around what Cruz thinks America should look like and his anti-immigrant comments are at the forefront.
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In some ways, it’s vital to not only look at the trajectory of Texas but to examine the direction of the country as a whole. It remains as a land of hope and opportunity for immigrants all over the world, and it protects the belief that perseverance and dedication can lead to a successful future. That being said, Cruz certainly embodies these demands and seeks to find a solution, even though it’s shrouded in Republican ideals.
Only time will show Cruz’s full impact on political discourse.
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Ted Cruz prides himself as one to uphold the values of his constituents and the country, and only time will reveal the kind of leader he ends up being or continues to be.